Wednesday, 1 April 2015

My Little Brother: A Tribute to Noel

Three Lambies:  Noel, Emma, and Lamb
Keswick, NB

When my daughter Emma moved from Fredericton to Denver, Colorado last summer, she left me many gifts and reminders, probably so I would never forget her.  As if!!!!  I am really enjoying the 2 cookie sheets, her bedroom furniture, the toaster oven, the 10 pound bag of coconut, and the endless supply of high-end shampoo.

Abandoned Cookie Sheets               Lifetime Supply of Coconut

       I have less use for the 25 pairs of flip-flops, the five plastic tubs packed with clothes size 6 or 8 or some number that is beyond my comprehension, which fill at least two closets in our house.  I did manage to get rid of the stack of 15 university textbooks through my new relationship with Kigigi. 
Numerous Pairs of FlipFlops

But the best thing Emma left me was her Little Brother, Noel.  Noel had been Emma’s Little Brother for about a year when she moved away.  Because he had been visiting our home and had become a part of our family’s life in that year, it made sense that I would become his new Big Sister, if they would have me, of course.  I did question my age and agility but there was no physical test.  I passed the interviews and application procedures and became an official Big Sister to Noel last June.  I know, I am more like a "grandmother" at this age, but he already has a fantastic grandmother.
Noel Sporting Denver Bronco Accessories

Noel is 9 years old and lives in a single-parent home with 3 siblings. I spend an average of 3 to 4 hours a week with him doing activities such as swimming, playing badminton and racquetball, cooking, gardening, kayaking, bowling, arcading (!!);  hanging out at our house; skyping Emma; watching movies; visiting friends, farms, cottages; attending Frostival, Haunted Houses, Easter Egg Hunts, Calithumpians, Forestry Competitions, New Years’ Levees, Big Brother Big Sister activities etc.  Whatev”, as they say.  It’s not about spending money, it’s about spending time. 

  You should know that:

 1.  Noel is getting better at badminton.  I’m not. 

  2.  Racing arcade games make me dizzy. 
                                3.  And, yes, of course I'm teaching him to knit. 
When I was going through the process of becoming a Big Sister, one of the questions I was asked in an interview was “What do you expect to get out of this experience?”  I did not have a good answer to that question at the time; I had not thought of it in terms of enriching my life.  But it has.
Here’s some of what I get out of it.  I am reminded of what it’s like to be nine years old.  I had forgotten, I must admit, having been there about 50 years ago.  And I could not really recall exactly what my own daughters were like at 9 years of age.  It’s important, in understanding our great human family, to consider what it’s like to be 9 years old, or 19 years old, or 79 years old. 
My Mother, Daughters, Nieces and Nephew: Multi-generational
I have always been fascinated by the insights of children and I have always enjoyed spending time with them.  With his captivating way of speaking, energetic physicality, vivid imagination, healthy curiosity, amazing memory, philosophical questions, brilliant observations, innocent wisdom, Noel has reminded me of what children have to offer adults.   
Noel at the Dairy Queen

The aim of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is "to promote the healthy development of children in our community through the provision of quality mentoring relationships with supportive, responsible adult volunteers".  
Noel lives in a loving home with a supportive family.  His involvement in the Big Brother Big Sister organization gives him extra time and attention from another adult, or in our case, other adults.  Tom often accompanies Noel and me on our outings.  And Emma maintains a relationship with Noel through phone, skype, texts, pictures, mail.  When she is back in Fredericton for visits and work, she spends as much time with Noel as she can.  In fact, you could say, we fight over him a little bit. 
Emma and Noel at the Marathon

April is a big month for fund-raising for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. If you are interested in making a donation to the organization online, follow the link below. If you would rather make a donation face-to-face, you could do that!  Contact me and we can make it happen.  Noel and I will be doing a little door-to-door canvassing prior to the April 11th deadline.  Thank you for your support.

Go to this link for information on becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister. I recommend it as a rewarding experience. 

......Ain't bad.....
 Barb and Noel

Until Next Time..... 




  1. Love this blog. Very touching. I'll definitely consider donating to BBBS. Happy Easter Barb! Paula

  2. Thank you, Paula! Happy Easter to you and yours!

  3. Good luck with your new big sister role!